Flying Truisims

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Staff member
Jun 5, 2002
Iowegia - USA
The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee. ___ Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel The three worst things to hear in the cockpit: The second officer says, "Darn it!" The first officer says, "I have an idea!" The captain says, "Hey, watch this!" "In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa." ___ Kurt Wien If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage/classic helicopter fly_ins? ___ Anonymous Death is just nature's way of telling you to watch your airspeed. ___ Anonymous "When it comes to testing new aircraft or determining maximum performance, pilots like to talk about "pushing the envelope." They're talking about a two dimensional model: the bottom is zero altitude, the ground; the left is zero speed; the top is max altitude; and the right, maximum velocity, of course. So, the pilots are pushing that upper_right_hand corner of the envelope. What everybody tries not to dwell on is that that's where the postage gets canceled, too." ___ Admiral Rick Hunter, U.S. Navy. "It only takes five years to go from rumor to standard operating procedure." ___ Dick Markgraf "Real planes use only a single stick to fly. This is why bulldozers and helicopters __ in that order __ need two." ___ Paul Slattery As a new copilot on an airliner, I was told to say these three things and to otherwise keep my mouth shut and not touch anything: 1. Clear on the right 2. Outer (marker) on the double (indicator) 3. I'll eat the chicken (Crew meals consisted of one steak and one chicken to avoid possible food poisoning of the cockpit crew). As an aviator in flight you can do anything you want... As long as it's right... And we'll let you know if it's right after you get down. You can't fly forever without getting killed. As a pilot only two bad things can happen to you and one of them will: a. One day you will walk out to the aircraft knowing that it is your last flight in an airplane. b. One day you will walk out to the airplane not knowing that it is your last flight in an airplane.. Any flight over water in a single engine airplane will absolutely guarantee abnormal engine noises and vibrations. There are Rules and there are Laws. The rules are made by men who think that they know better how to fly your airplane than you. Laws (of Physics) were made by the Great One. You can, and sometimes should, suspend the Rules but you can never suspend the Laws. More about Rules: a. The rules are a good place to hide if you don't have a better idea and the talent to execute it. b. If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless performance. (e.g., If you fly under a bridge, don't hit the bridge.) The pilot is the highest form of life on earth. The ideal pilot is the perfect blend of discipline and aggressiveness. About check rides: a. The only real objective of a check ride is to complete it and get the son of a gun out of your airplane. b. It has never occurred to any flight examiner that the examinee couldn't care less what the examiner's opinion of his flying ability really is. The medical profession is the natural enemy of the aviation profession. The job of the Wing Commander is to worry incessantly that his career depends solely on the abilities of his aviators to fly their airplanes without mishap and that their only minuscule contribution to the effort is to bet their lives on it. Ever notice the only experts who decree the age of the pilot is over are people who have never flown anything? Also, in spite of the intensity of their feelings the pilot's day is over, I know of no expert who has volunteered to be a passenger in a non_piloted aircraft. It is absolutely imperative the pilot be unpredictable. Rebelliousness is very predictable. In the end, conforming almost all the time is the best way to be unpredictable. He who demands everything his aircraft can give him is a pilot; he that demands one iota more is a fool. It is solely the pilot's responsibility to never let any other thing touch his aircraft. If you can learn how to fly as an Ensign or a Second Lieutenant, and not forget how to fly by the time you're a Commander or Colonel, you will have lived a happy life. Night flying: a. Remember that the airplane doesn't know that it's dark. b. On a clear, moonless night, never fly between the tanker's lights. c. There are certain aircraft sounds that can only be heard at night. d. If you're going to night fly, it might as well be in the weather so you can double count your exposure to both hazards. e. Night formation is really an endless series of near misses in equilibrium with each other. f. You would have to pay a lot of money at a lot of amusement parks and perhaps add a few drugs, to get the same blend of psychedelic sensations as a single engine night weather flight. One of the most important skills a pilot must develop is the skill to ignore those things that were designed by non_pilots to get the pilot's attention! At the end of the day, the controllers, operations supervisors, maintenance guys, weather guessers, and birds; they're all trying to kill you and your job is to not let them! The concept of "controlling" airspace with radar is just a form of FAA sarcasm directed at pilots to see if they're gullible enough to swallow it. Or to put it another way, when's the last time the FAA ever shot anyone down? I must add to this one that although they haven't shot someone down they do use the ground and other airlplnaes to kill you, and those two have a Pk of 1.0 Remember the radio is only an electronic suggestion for the pilot. Sometimes the only way to clear up a problem is to turn it off. It is a tacit, yet profound admission of the preeminence of flying in the hierarchy of the human spirit, that those who seek to control aviators via threats always threaten to take one's wings and not one's life. Remember when flying low and inverted that the rudder still works the same old way, but hopefully your instructor pilot never taught you pull stick back, plane go up". Mastering the prohibited maneuvers in the Operations Manual is one of the best forms of aviation life insurance you can get. A tactic done twice is a procedure. (Refer to unpredictability discussion above) The aircraft G_limits are only there in case there is another flight by that particular airplane. If subsequent flights do not appear likely, there are no G_limits. One of the beautiful things about a single piloted aircraft is the quality of the social experience. If a mother has the slightest suspicion that her infant might grow up to be a pilot, she had better teach him to put things back where he got them. The ultimate responsibility of the pilot is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions of earthbound ancestors who could only stare skyward... and wish. The two things a fighter pilot likes to hear: a. Night flying is canceled b. No dear, I'm not pregnant.
More Rules For Flight Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment. (my favorite) Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. (shamelessly stolen from )
Aviator Logic It's better to be down here wishing you were up there, than to be up there wishing you were down here. An airplane will probably fly a little bit over gross, but it won't fly without fuel. Speed is life, altitude is life insurance. If you're ever faced with a forced landing at night, turn on the landing lights to see the landing area. If you don't like what you see, turn 'em off. Never let an airplane take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier. Too many pilots are found in the wreckage with their hands around a microphone or holding onto a keyboard. Don't drop the aircraft in order to fly the microphone. An airplane flies because of a principle discovered by Bernoulli, not Marconi. Fly it until the last piece stops moving. No one has ever collided with the sky. Any attempt to stretch fuel is guaranteed to increase headwinds. A thunderstorm is natures way of saying "Up yours." Keep looking around, there's always something you missed. Remember, you're always a student in an airplane. Any pilot who does not at least privately consider himself the best in the business is in the wrong business. It's best to keep the pointed end going forward as much as possible. Hovering is for pilots who love to fly, but have no place to go. The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire. A jet fighter in the air is a dual emergency: Low on fuel and on fire. A single engine jet is a triple emergency. The only thing worse than a captain who never flew copilot is a copilot who was once a captain. A terminal forecast is a horoscope with numbers. Takeoffs are optional. Landings are mandatory. The first thing every pilot does after making a gear up landing is to put the gear handle down. A "good" landing is one which you can walk away from. A great landing is one which lets you use the airplane another time. A good simulator check ride is like successful surgery on a cadaver. Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment. An airplane may disappoint a good pilot, but it won't surprise him. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself. Things which do you no good in aviation: Altitude above you. Runway behind you Fuel in the truck. Half a second in history. Approach plates in the car. The airspeed you don't have. A smooth touchdown in a simulator is about as exciting as kissing your sibling. Three things kill young pilots in Alaska: weather, weather and weather. Fuel is life.
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